New California legislation went into effect this month that’s designed to make the Golden State a little greener.
The implementation of Assembly Bill 341, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last October, went live on July 1. The law requires all commercial businesses that generate four or more cubic yards of trash per week and multifamily dwellings with five or more units to participate in recycling programs.
Currently, the business sector makes up about two-thirds of the state’s waste stream, according to Californians Against Waste, because so few businesses recycle and those who do recycle at a low rate.
The new policy, written by Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro (D-North Coast), is part of the state’s goal of 75 percent disposal reduction by 2020 through waste reduction, recycling or composting. The benefits of the law are not limited to waste reduction and the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions, however.
According to CalRecycle, the state’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, studies on the economic impact of recycling versus disposal have found significant positive economic effects in California. “The benefits from increased recycling will not only generate new jobs, but will also result in additional goods and services,” the department says on its website.
California surpassed its goal of 50 percent of waste conversion in 2000, reaching a 58 percent recycling rate instead. San Francisco, which currently leads the nation with a 78 percent diversion rate, has set a city-wide goal of 100 percent waste diversion rate by 2020.